One of President Trump’s biggest campaign promises was his vow to build a wall along the country’s southernmost border.
Congress has yet to fund the wall, and Trump’s demands that Mexico pay for it have gone nowhere. However, the president has seemingly evolved on what he’s called the “big, beautiful wall,” as he has contended a physical structure might not be needed “where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting” the border.
Read on for a closer look at Trump’s proposed border wall by the numbers.
Trump first proposed the border wall when he announced his presidential candidacy in June 2015. It was then that he made the controversial remarks about the people emigrating from Mexico.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said on June 16, 2015. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me,” Trump said. “I’ll build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
The continental border between the U.S. and Mexico stretches for nearly 2,000 miles. The land border reaches across four states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
The entire border extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.
Trump unveiled his budget plan in February 2018 and included in it a $23 billion request for border security. Of that, $18 billion would be designated to building the border wall.
A Department of Homeland Security report estimated that 170,000 people successfully entered the U.S. illegally from the southern border in 2015. That number is significantly less than the 1.7 million people estimated to have entered in 2005.
There were approximately 5.6 million “unauthorized immigrants” from Mexico by 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center. That number has decreased from 6.4 million in 2009.
Four companies were selected to build concrete prototypes of the border wall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced in August 2017.
Those companies are: the Caddell Construction Company of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction Company of Houston, Texas; and WG Yates and Sons Construction of Philadelphia, Miss.
The prototypes will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide and will cost up to $500,000 to make.
U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled against an environmental challenge to the border wall on Feb. 27. In a 101-page ruling, Curiel wrote that Congress and the executive branch “share responsibilities in protecting the country from terrorists and contraband illegally entering at the borders.”
Curiel’s ruling allows the administration to issue waivers on environmental laws and begin to build sections of the border wall.
However, in a tweet, Trump said he will not approve sections of the wall in California to be built “until the whole Wall is approved.”
Trump visited California on March 13 to survey eight towering prototypes for the wall, among other things.
He said he prefers a concrete wall because it was the hardest to climb, but also said he wants it to be see-through.
“We have a lousy wall over here now, but at least it stops 90, 95 percent,” Trump said. “When we put up the real wall, we’re going to stop 99 percent. Maybe more than that.”
Fox News’ Alex Papppas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.